Florida officials are asking victims of sexual assault to avoid at-home rape evidence collection kits, amid legal trouble two companies are facing.
The companies under scrutiny are MeToo Kit and Preserve Kit, accused of marketing their products as an alternative to professional medical care that many states already offer for free.
Florida and multiple other states are issuing warnings that say evidence collected by those kits may be thrown out in court.
“There are interviews that need to be done, full body checks, some medical expertise that can be provided at the hospital that cannot be done at home,” said Rich Kolko, WINK News’ Safety & Security Specialist.
The states of New York and Michigan sent cease and desist letters to the companies. In response, Preserve Kit has taken information down from its website, and its product is no longer available on Amazon.com. But the Preserve Kit website says the company will be “back as soon as possible.”
In a statement to the New York Attorney General , MeToo Kit said while its kits are not for sale yet, it will not stop production. It’s focused on making kits more accessible to cut down the process for survivors while meeting the same medical, scientific and legal standards as traditional tests. MeToo Kit also says it hopes to partner with organizations to make their tests free for survivors.